The Military Spouse JD Network is an international network of legal professionals improving the lives of military families. We advocate for licensing accommodations for military spouses, including bar membership without additional examination. MSJDN includes military spouses and partners from all branches of the United States Military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy as well as spouses of retired service members and legal and military organizations who support our mission.

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On the Blog

MSJDN Releases Annual Report o…

MSJDN Releases Annual Report on Mil…

By Katherine Goyette

MSJDN presents the 2015 MSJDN Survey Report, revealing the results of the military spouse attorney survey that ran from late December 2014 to mid-January 2015. 225 military spo… Read More


Military Spouse JD Network

1 day ago

Employer Spotlight: Bryan Cave…

Employer Spotlight: Bryan Cave LLP

Editor's Note: MSJDN asked its members to help us spotlight employers that are going above and beyon… Read More

Anette Radonski

5 days ago

 

Employer Spotlight: W. Timothy…

Employer Spotlight: W. Timothy Harvey

Editor's Note: MSJDN asked its members to help us spotlight employers that are going above and beyon… Read More

Thea Pitzen

1 week ago

 

Orrick Partner Christina Sarch…

Orrick Partner Christina Sarchio to receive MSJDN Professional Excelle…

MSJDN is excited to announce that the 2015 Professional Excellence Award will be presented to Christ… Read More

Elizabeth Jamison

1 week ago

 

Employer Spotlight: Law Office…

Employer Spotlight: Law Offices of Paul Ryan

Editor's Note: MSJDN asked its members to help us spotlight employers that are going above and beyon… Read More

Jillie Gordon Foerster

2 weeks ago

 

Our Mission:

MSJDN supports military spouses by:
- Advocating for licensing accommodations, including bar membership without additional examination,
- Providing education about the challenges facing military families,
- Encouraging hiring military spouses, and
- Providing a support network.
- MSJDN includes military spouses and partners from all branches of the United States Military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy as well as spouses of retired service members and legal and military organizations who support our mission.

The Barriers:
Geographic Insecurity
Military Families are geographically insecure, moving every two to three years, often with tours overseas. These moves are based on the needs of the U.S. government, and are mandatory for the service-member. Although the spouse and children may technically refuse to move, this causes obvious hardships on families already often separated by deployments.

Legal Profession
Attorneys are required to be licensed in each state where they practice. Licensing can take up to a year, sometimes more, for the application, character and fitness review, bar examination, and processing. Licensing can cost $4,000 to $5,000 each time for preparation materials and fees. All gaps in employment must be justified on bar applications and can cause delays in admission.

What this means for our Members
It is not unusual for our members to have taken 3 or 4 different bar examinations. Less than 1/3 of MSJDN members have full-time legal employment. Half of MSJDN members are unemployed and actively looking for work, under-employed in non-attorney positions as paralegals/secretaries, or can only find part-time work. MSJDN members report that the biggest challenge to finding and keeping employment is frequent moves and lack of portable employment opportunities.

2 thoughts on “

  1. Ronnie G

    Hello, I’m a military spouse seeking advice on how to handle a divorce, my husband left town after discharge back in the 90s and is refusing to submit a fee waiver so that I can file a divorce in my state. Nor will he provide financial status info. Am I entitled to any benefits now that he is out the military, how do I find out if he has been collecting spousal allotments on my behalf? What are my rights going forward?

    Reply
    1. Profile photo of Elizabeth JamisonElizabeth Jamison

      Ronnie, We are a bar association, not a legal provider. An attorney would need to know more details before being able to advise you properly. If you would like to email communications@msjdn.org, we can pass along your information to our membership and see if any military spouse attorneys are available in your area to assist you. We would also suggest contacting your local bar association for a referral to a local attorney to help you.

      Reply

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